Here we are with another story to tell.
So who is Anna Patrick? Well, let’s find out.
So her story begins…
*Are you originally from Northern Virginia?
Yes, born in raised in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, outside of DC.
I‘ve never been to northern Virginia before.
*What do you do currently in your occupation?
I’m a Communications Associate for The Kennedy Forum, a mental health advocacy non-profit founded by Patrick Kennedy – his book, A Common Struggle, is a great read if you haven’t checked it out yet!
Nice. Thanks for the book recommendation!
“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
*Did you have a childhood fascination with fairy tales? Tell us about it and your all time favorites.
I don’t think it’s so much fairy tales, but just darker stories in general. I loved Alice In Wonderland, of course, and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. Not your average childhood reads, but I think I had such an idyllic childhood that the dark and edgy stories captured my interest.
That makes sense. I’ve read some of Poe’s work, but now enough.
*What genre do you write?
Fiction. Leaning toward the magical surrealist side. I think the creative possibilities there are endless, and that intrigues me.
Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
“Imagination is the reality of the dreamer.” -Scott Ringenback
*Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I read a quote recently that said something like look to your childhood passions to see where your life calling lies. I’ve always written, and I think when I reached an age where you start to question what you want to do, becoming an author seemed like a natural goal for me.
I love that quote!
*Where did you go to school? Major?
I went to Boston College and majored in Communications. I wrote Meditations In Wonderland there my last semester.
Wow. That sounds like a major feat. Penning a novel in your last semester of college is remarkable.
*What led you to write Meditations in Wonderland? Your premise looks pretty intriguing.
Thank you! I grew up loving Alice In Wonderland, and I was inspired by the dark tones it took on over the years as my generation grew with the story. From that landscape my story manifested itself in my mind over a few years, primarily starting when I studied abroad in London, saw Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript and visited Oxford, through to my senior year of college when I finally wrote it. It’s been called “Pretty Little Liars meets Alice In Wonderland.”
Never been to Oxford, but Cambridge is beautiful.
*Would it be classified as a psychological thriller?
I can definitely see an argument for that. As a dark Alice In Wonderland retelling I think no one would dispute that. It definitely has a lot of thriller-esque scenes and notes of magical surrealism. And, of course, a little nonsense.
It’s amazing to see what different authors are able to craft with their imagination.
*Tell us a little about the main character.
Elizabeth is 24, and she lives in Brooklyn and works as an interior designer in the city. I think many people can relate to the themes she’s struggling with – confronting and acknowledging the darker sides of herself, struggling with mental static and getting lost in the noise. In a sense she has to reclaim herself after giving in to a pattern of self-destructive behavior. She meditates, falls down the rabbit hole, and the rest is history.
Wow. Makes me want to know more about her.
You’re a writer; so whats your story, or what inspired you?
I don’t think I can pinpoint a single moment when I decided that I would be a writer – I’ve always just written, and then I couldn’t separate myself from the act of writing, it always felt a part of me. I used to carry around a composition notebook in elementary school that housed my first “novel,” scribbled in mechanical pencil between classes and after school, and eventually I graduated to my MacBook in college on which I wrote the manuscript for Meditations In Wonderland my last semester at Boston College. In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.
Keep following that internal whisper. And when you don’t hear it, write anyway.
“In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.”-Anna Patrick
What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?
Having my writing published has always been the “ultimate” goal for me, and I think many writers can relate to that, however I think a more realistic goal is just to keep writing, to keep the process alive. The hardest part about writing, in truth, is the act of sitting down to write in the first place. If I can cultivate and keep my writing practice going, that’s a goal in itself that I think leads to the more penultimate dream of having your work published.
YES. I love this. The more realistic goal is to keep writing. I struggle with having consistent writing time so I completely understand this. The ‘butt in chair’ is the only way.
What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)
Timing, spaces, and disconnect. As for the first, why is it when you’re about to shut your eyes and fall asleep, warm under the covers, does your muse begin to speak? I think mine might be a sadist in that way. So the first conflict for me is the timing of writing, capturing what I need to capture often against difficult circumstances for doing so, like commuting, unplugging for a night’s sleep, or while on a run. As for the second, my writing practice benefits from having a clean, creative space to work in with minimal distractions from my “to do” list, which is probably why I wrote my first novel out of my home in a local Barnes & Noble. Last, disconnect is often a gatekeeper I grapple with. Either feeling disconnected from the story, from myself, from my creative process, or just from the voice that compels me to pick up where I left off. Some days you’re just not “feeling it,” so to speak, and I think writers can all commiserate there. The goal is to at least try to make sure two out of the three are at bay on any given day to try to make writing happen, and keep it cohesive!
The writing process is so mysterious to me. Not sure if you’ve read Anne Janzer’s book , The Writing Process, but I was greatly helped by it.
What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)
If the story needs to be told, I’ll continue to tell it. When I don’t feel that ache in my bones to keep writing, I’ll stop, but I still have that voice that refuses to stop whispering.
Stories are great and equally mysterious.
What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?
Aren’t all of the best antagonists just reflections of ourselves, or our greatest fears? The fear that any next novel wouldn’t live up to the first, or that those new daring stylistic choices won’t engage the reader the way we hoped they would – we all have our dragon at that gate. For me, it’s scales are green, shiny, and coated with that existential “if I finish this, I have to turn it over to the business side of things” doubts. Writing is the fun part, but I think it’s important to embrace every part of the process, even the parts that we might rather procrastinate in facing.
Well spoken. It’s always a constant battle. Let’s keep at it, shall we?
Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?
I think leaving a project is a very personal choice, so the reasons could be many. The best reason is probably because the project no longer feels authentic, which I think is a noble reason to step away, and faced with the same reality I hope I have the courage to do the same if it frees me up for the better project waiting in the shadows!
Seeing the next project is always tempting!
What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?
Take your time away, if you need it, and return to it when you feel compelled, nagged, and eaten away to resume. Because then you’ll really enjoy it, and your reader will feel that, too.
For me, it’s a gut feeling. If I stop, then it returns begging to be written.
BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike?
I’ve been playing around with a sequel to my next novel, loosely based off of Through The Looking Glass, as Meditations In Wonderland was loosely based of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
Keep us posted on the release date!
Thanks for ridin’ the train!!
Don’t be a stranger….
Up for a reading challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge (Goodreads group here)
A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com
Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com